A neurologist says reduce or avoid consuming dates; here’s why | Life-style News

A neurologist says reduce or avoid consuming dates; here’s why | Life-style News
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A neurologist says reduce or avoid consuming dates; here’s why | Life-style News

As an alternative to refined sugar, jaggery or dates have long been recommended. But how often and how much are you consuming? If neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad is to go by, “dates are not as healthy as they are thought to be”.

“Dates are rich in calories- 100 grams of dates provide about 280 calories. So, if you are starving, please have dates; otherwise, better to avoid or minimise consuming dates,” said Dr Kumar.

He also mentioned that there are much healthier sources of iron. “To get your daily requirement of iron, you will need to eat 80-100 grams of jaggery. You may get your quota of iron, but it will be a 1+1 offer- you will get diabetes free with that,” said Dr Kumar.

Before, our expert weighs in, let’s understand what makes dates sought after.

Dates contain essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamins, contributing to overall health. “High fibre in dates aids digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels, but excessive intake might lead to digestive issues,” said clinical dietitian Garima Goyal
– Dates serve as a natural alternative to refined sugars, making them a healthier choice in certain recipes.
– The natural sugars in dates provide a quick energy boost, making them a convenient snack.
– Dates contain antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and support cellular health.
– Rich in minerals like phosphorus and calcium, dates contribute to bone health.
Potassium in dates helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels, supporting cardiovascular well-being.

balanced diet A balanced diet is a must (Source: Freepik)

– The fibre content in dates helps prevent constipation and promotes a healthy digestive system.

Festive offer

So, should we reduce or avoid consuming dates?

Though dates are calorie dense, you are not going to use 100 grams altogether, countered Goyal. “Having 1-2 dates per day won’t harm, whether you add it in your glass of smoothie or eat it as a whole,” Goyal said.

Keep the following things in mind if consuming dates

1. Moderation – Enjoy dates in moderation due to their natural sugar content to avoid excessive calorie and sugar intake.
2. Balanced diet – Incorporate dates as part of a balanced diet, ensuring a variety of nutrients from different food sources.
3. Blood sugar monitoring – Individuals with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels when consuming dates and adjust portions accordingly. “Those having uncontrolled blood sugar levels currently should avoid having dates,” said Goyal.
4. Hydration – Dates have natural sugars, so stay well-hydrated to maintain balance and support digestion.
5. Dental care – Practice good oral hygiene as dates’ stickiness can potentially contribute to dental issues.
6. Fibre intake – While dates are a good fibre source, ensure a mix of fiber from various foods for optimal digestive health.
7. Weight management – If managing weight, be mindful of portion sizes as dates are calorie-dense.
8. Nutrient diversity – Dates are nutritious but don’t rely solely on them. Include a diverse range of foods for comprehensive nutrient intake.
9. Processed forms – Limit consumption of processed date products that may contain added sugars or preservatives.

10. Exercise timing – Dates can provide a quick energy boost, making them a potential pre-or post-workout snack.
11. Mindful eating – Pay attention to portion sizes, savour the taste, and eat mindfully to appreciate the nutritional value of dates, said Goyal.

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